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SCOOP Olympic Update, Sunday 24 Sept, 2000

SCOOP Olympic update, Sunday 24 Sept, 2000
Article: Mathew Loh

BOARD-sailing wonder woman Barbara Kendall has etched her name in Olympic legend as one of the greatest New Zealand athletes in history by earning her third consecutive medal by winning bronze at Sydney 2000.

Her bronze medal completes her collection which started with gold at Barcelona 92 and was increased with a silver in the seas off Savannah, Georgia at the Atlanta Games in 1996.

The fact she earned bronze and was always in the top three throughout the regatta is testimony to the sheer genius of her sailing skills as the extremely light conditions were right against her.

By remaining competitive in the calm despite carrying significantly more weight than her rivals Kendall underlined her reputation as one of if not the finest women's board-sailor of the past 10 years.

Kendall secured her bronze by finishing third in the 11th race of the regatta but the battle for gold and silver was the real highlight of the race.

So often a bridesmaid to Kendall and Atlanta gold medalst Lee Lai Shan of Hong Kong the reigning world champion Alessandra Sensini of Italy - a bronze medalist in 96 - seemed destined to fall short of gold medal glory, yet again, as entered the final race trailing German sailor Amelie Lux.

However Sensini was determined that Sydney would see her on top of the world and in a superb match-race worthly of an Olympic regatta she battled it out with Lux in an exciting chase for gold on the waters of Sydney harbour.

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And in the end it was the Italian, Sensini, who reigned supreme as she emerged victorious in race 11 to cement her place in sailing history as the Sydney 2000 women's board-sailing gold medalist.

In other Olympic news the Tall Ferns were overwhelmed 96-52 by a powerful Russian basketball team who in the end toyed with the Kiwi team in a manner similar to what the USA mens team did last night when they completely outclassed the Tall Blacks 102-56.

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